Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom will miss tonight's game against the Edmonton Oilers because of nagging problems with his fractured left thumb, an injury that was suffered Feb. 21 against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Coach Bruce Boudreau said it will be a short-term absence, one to two games, and that Backstrom is wearing a hard cast to protect the thumb by limiting movement and the possibility of additional injury. Boudreau added that the cast can be taken off at any time and that Backstrom did not suffer an additional injury over the weekend.

"We just want to protect his thumb," Boudreau said. "We like him playing every game, but to us, making sure that he's ready and healthy is the most important thing. We didn't want a nagging little injury to keep him out and keep re-injuring it and that. He'll probably be out for a game or two."

This will cause Backstrom to miss a game for the first time in his career, ending a streak of 341 consecutive contests that the Capitals' No. 1 center has played in between the regular season and playoffs.

More to come.